GFM Network News


Animals play a role in the emergence and dynamics of infectious disease.

Infectious disease: Transmissibility and herd immunity

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In November 2019, the world changed. A cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China — the cause eventually identified as a novel coronavirus labelled COVID-19 — turned the world on its ear. While a novel coronavirus trammeled the world, humans stood in awe wondering what might happen. COVID-19 sickened 46.2 million people (as of November […] Read more

Poking the beehive

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

COVID-19 may never go away — with or without a vaccine. Dr. Vineet Menachery, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Texas medical branch, is guarded in his forecast of how we will adapt to COVID-19. The future has a lot to do with immunity. Menachery points out that we haven’t been successful at eradicating […] Read more


Foot-and-mouth disease is regularly found in many parts of the world and threatens Canada’s livestock industry.

Much to learn about foot-and-mouth disease: Part 3 of 3

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In a crisis, affected people act on information differently than during non-crisis situations. They often exaggerate communication responses as they revert to more basic or instinctive “fight-or-flight” reasoning. Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in previously FMD-free countries always creates crisis circumstances because economies collapse. Plus producers are thrust into disorder of a magnitude that frightens most because […] Read more

Foot-and-mouth disease is regularly found in many parts of the world and threatens Canada’s livestock industry.

Much to learn about foot-and-mouth disease: Part 2

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, acute, viral disease affecting cloven-hooved animals including pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. Controlling FMD in countries previously free of the disease and wishing to re-establish freedom is a sophisticated process requiring technical expertise, persistence and tough decisions. The disease is characterized by formation of vesicles and erosions inside […] Read more


Foot-and-mouth disease is regularly found in many parts of the world and threatens Canada’s livestock industry.

Much to learn about foot-and-mouth disease: Part 1

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

This article is the first of a series of three dealing with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and emergency planning. Through May and June of 2020, 88 veterinarians and registered animal health technologists from across Canada and the U.S. participated in a series of webinars dealing with the control of FMD. A panel of experts from the […] Read more

Writing history during a pandemic

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

It’s a trying time for those who try to convert current events into numbers in search of meaning for what’s happening today compared with what happened yesterday. Veterinarians are expected to know about viruses and bacteria transmitted between animals and people, but obviously important pieces are missing. It is especially frustrating with how little is […] Read more


Where are we at with antimicrobial resistance?

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), often incorrectly labelled antibiotic resistance, has been the subject of immeasurable media attention through the past three decades. It’s a relentless rabble of potential health threats, what and who is to blame, and where do we go from here. AMR has spawned at least two generations, maybe three, of academic scrutiny, dissection, […] Read more

The coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China, is new and until now, had not been found in humans.

Simple goes bad

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, a public health emergency. It’s just another stop on the Zoonotic Highway, a simple respiratory infection that matured into a global health emergency. Health agencies around the world have tried to smother the threat, but efforts seem flawed. History repeats itself: the novel […] Read more


The real issue around the red meat study is scientific credibility

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Dr. Bradley Johnston, an associate professor of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University, escalated the protein war when he published a report contradicting existing nutritional guidelines related to red meat consumption. According to Johnston, “Most adults shouldn’t worry about how much red or processed meat they eat. This is not just another study of […] Read more

Controlling disease will become more difficult as new diseases constantly emerge, and novel environmental, social and financial pressures across the globe change the face of disease control.

Addressing zoonotic diseases on a global scale

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In March 2019, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health launched a guide for countries using a One Health approach to control zoonotic diseases. The guide became available internationally in multiple languages in October 2019. Zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, rabies, […] Read more